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Mon Jun 11, 2012, 10:33 AM

Raw Story apologizes to Glenn Greenwald and Jeremy Scahill [View all]

http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2012/06/06/a-few-thoughts-on-glenn-greenwald-ablc-raw-story-and-the-nature-of-political-discourse/

In the years immediately following 9/11, anyone failing to march to the beat of Americaís war drums ó be it Congresswoman Barbara Lee (D-CA), who was the sole vote against beginning the war in Afghanistan, or the Dixie Chicks, who pronounced themselves ďashamedĒ that the President who started 2 wars from Texas, or even the French people, who lost their eponymous fries ó was called unpatriotic, a helpmeet to (alternately), ďthe terrorists,Ē Osama bin Laden, al Qaeda and/or the Taliban, or even a traitor to this country (which has long valued the importance of political dissent, loyal and otherwise). Liberals decried the rhetoric, and talked about how it both possible to love this country, and the promise of this country, without providing unquestioning loyalty to its leaders.

So when Greenwald brought it to my attention that a Twitterer and blogger nominally associated with Raw Story (through the hosted blog Angry Black Lady Chronicles) had used that exact rhetoric to criticize Greenwald and The NationĎs Jeremy Scahill, it was hard to do more than roll my eyes and sigh. But as the executive editor of Raw Story, I am obligated to do more than that.

So, to be clear: Raw Story Media, of which I am an employee, hosts under contract Angry Black Lady Chronicles, one of two opinion blogs hosted by but not directed by the company. Under the terms of the companyís contracts with both blogs, they have their own editorial discretion, their own direction and can bring on (and let go) of their bloggers at their own free will. Imani Gandy, the original ABLC blogger, told me that she has decided to use that discretion to ask two bloggers whose online pronouncements arenít in keeping with and have interfered with what she sees as her editorial mission ó reproductive rights and racial justice ó to leave.

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To Greenwald and Scahill, whose reputations were maligned by a person who used the platform of Raw Story in ways it was not intended and with whom I personally take issue, I have privately apologized. This is my public one. It is my belief that reasonable people at every point on the political spectrum can look at the same set of facts and draw different and even sometimes equally valid conclusions about policy issues, politicians and the political system, and that those disagreements need not and should not descend into unsupportable, hyperbolic personal attacks intended to silence those with whom we disagree.



Edit: Here's AngryBlackLady's apology:

http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2012/06/06/the-greenwaldscahill-kerfuffle/
Politics is a blood-sport, and you never learn that more keenly than during an election year. Sometimes itís easy to forget that weíre all human beings, no matter what we think of one anotherís politics.

Sometimes rhetoric gets overheated and politics becomes personal and itís at those moments, we need to stop and think. So, when it was brought to my attention that one of my co-bloggers, who goes by Extreme Liberal, implied on Twitter that Salonís Glenn Greenwald and The Nationís Jeremy Scahill work for the Taliban and al Qaeda because of their opposition to the Presidentís use of drones, I realized it was time to take a moment. Although I didnít write that tweet, it wouldnít be right for me to pretend that itís not relevant to me, or that itís okay to let things like that slide if itís directed at someone I donít like or agree with politically. That would make me a hypocrite, and I donít want to let a personal or political differences make me ó or this blog ó into someone I donít want to be.

Greenwald and I obviously have our differences and will probably continue to disagree. We are creatures of our experiences which inform our views of the world, and mine have been very different from his. Nonetheless, he deserves exactly what I want from him and everyone else who reads my work, whether they agree or disagree: to be treated like a human being.
So look, that kind of thing is not cool, people. We need to take things down a few notches from eleventy and remember that opposition is not ďthe enemy.Ē This doesnít mean we all have to hold hands, sing Kumbaya, and pretend to be BFFs, but it does mean that we must not let politics rob us of our ethics or human decency. I truly respect the work that Jeremy Scahill has done in his career ó his book Blackwater was a true eye-opener ó and although Glenn Greenwald and I rarely agree about politics, (although it may surprise you that I actually do share some of his foreign policy concerns and his concerns about imperialism in the Middle East), that doesnít mean that heís a traitor or a terrorist. Any suggestion of such is wrong and grossly inappropriate. I donít wish him harm. I donít believe that he deserves to be dehumanized. And I donít want anyone who supports me or enjoys my writing to think that I support or enjoy extreme, outrageous, or dehumanizing attacks on him or anyone because of public disagreements.

Because I absolutely mean that, Iíve asked Extreme Liberal to step down as a blogger at ABLC, and Iím writing this to let everyone know where I stand and to reiterate that my views are my own and not representative of any of the management of Raw Story or of Raw Story itself.

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